It’s been proven time and time again that people hate to be sold but they love to buy. If that is truly the case, and indeed it seems to be so, why do we teach people to sell? Why don't we instead teach people to get customers to buy-in? The difference can be staggering and it starts with our mindset. Our first business words and the first question we ask often indicate the exact reason we are there. Is it to sell the customer or rather to better understand their business, their beliefs, their behaviors, and quite frankly, whether or not our product is actually a fit?
Do you sometimes wish you had a private tutor to help you in your job? So do Sales Representatives all the time. And to learn more about the relationship and needs between Sales Representatives and First Line Managers in Lifesciences, Delta Point established a survey and report to learn more. We recently completed and published the Delta Point 2016 Industry Survey Report in which we surveyed more than 100 sales representatives and 100 First Line Sales Managers across the country to find out about the ability of sales managers to be truly effective coaches. We’ve also been published on PM360 regarding these insights, which you can read about here.
Many of us think we have a customer-focused approach when we really don’t. In his book The Ultimate Question, Fred Reichheld cites research that confirms there is a big disconnect between what we believe and what our customers think. 80% of senior managers felt their organizations were customer-focused and provided superior customer experiences. However, when their customers were surveyed, only 8% of their customers agreed. 80% versus 8%—that’s quite a disparity. What’s missing? Why aren’t we as customer-focused as we think we are?
“Those who tell the stories rule society.” [Plato]. In my mind, there’s a corollary to that saying, which is “Those who tell stories rule—when selling and persuading.” Why is this true? Storytelling is an effective way to generate excitement. It’s also a great way to influence and persuade someone to your way of thinking. Managers who share stories can testify how effective they are—especially when getting your team impassioned about your vision.
It’s Spring! When you hear the word “spring” you might think of sunshine, flowers, and warmer temperatures. Others might think of spring cleaning—because this new season is a great time to clear out those cobwebs. Spring cleaning is not just physical—it’s also mental. It’s really an opportune time to take stock about what you’ve accomplished so far and how things are trending for the rest of the year. Already one-quarter of the year is gone. Look at the goals you set for the year. How are you tracking? And what could you be doing to get better?
I used to feel sorry for goldfish swimming in that small bowl, day after day. But then I learned that goldfish have a 9-second attention span. They likely don’t realize they’re going around in circles. Certainly that wouldn’t apply to humans—but then I learned that our ability to pay attention has decreased dramatically in the past 100 years. Humans used to be able to pay attention for 20 minutes—now our attention span is the same as that goldfish. What this means for us in sales is that we better capture attention pretty quickly—or else our customers won’t listen to what we say. And if we can’t get them to listen, we certainly can’t get them to buy our product.
Selling excellence requires the ability to ask well-designed questions. And that’s what we tend to focus on when developing this skill. But aren’t we missing out on sales opportunities if we don’t also focus on better ways to respond to the questions our customers ask?